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Three days on the Kenai Peninsula: Homer or Seward?

Three days on the Kenai Peninsula: Homer or Seward?

Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Three days on the Kenai Peninsula: Homer or Seward?

My wife and I are going to Alaska at the end of July. We'll arrive in Anchorage late at night, and the next morning will pick up a car that is reserved for four days. We have to be back in Anchorage for a flight on the morning of the fifth day. I want to see the Kenai Peninsula and do some fishing while we're there.

So far have two scenarios in mind: 1.) B&B for three nights in Homer, with a fishing charter one day, just for the halibut (however, I am prone to seasickness); or, 2.) spend two nights in Seward, with a trip to Kenai Fjords NP, and one night near Cooper Landing, taking a drift boat trip for salmon.
What I like about #1 is that we would be in one place. But halibut fishing on the ocean seems to be the main choice there, and I'm wary of seasickness (is there no salmon fishing in nearby rivers?).
What I like about #2 is that there is less driving, and I could go out for salmon on the river.

Looking to the experts out in Fodorland to offer their insights on the relative merits of Homer vs Seward as towns for sightseeing opportunities, local ambience, etc. Any fishing opportunities that I may not be considering. Thanks!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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one thing to consider (and you may want to verify my facts) when we went, the fishing license for Homer allowed 2 halibut/person, but in Seward you were only allowed 1. So if you are actually going to get some fish to stock up on, you might prefer Homer. You can, however, go halibut fishing from Seward. A couple guys staying at our b&b came back with a 75lb halibut. Sometimes 1 is enough!

We did an all-day salmon/halibut combo out of Homer. We only managed to catch 1 20 lb salmon, and 4 smallish halibut, ranging from 15-30 lbs. After cleaning, freezing and packing, we shipped about 45lbs of fish home. I tell you, we were really enjoying that halibut for months. It was awesome. The fishing boat stayed within Kachemak Bay, so it was not particularly rough. While I'm not the most sensitive to motion sickness, I'm also not immune, and I had no trouble at all.

Actually, you are more likely to have seasickness on the Kenai Fjords tour. That is thoroughly worthwhile though. If you could fit that in as well as time in Homer it would be great. I'd be hard pressed to tell you which to choose, between Homer and Seward. I loved both. I guess I liked the ambiance around Homer slightly more. But there is more to see and do around Seward I think.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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Thanks, china_cat! I appreciate your insights. It is always tough to make a choice when the options seem equally wonderful.

What was the price of the all-day trip from Homer? Did they include the license fee?
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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When we were in Homer we took a float plane to the Kenai Peninsula tomwatch the bears catching salmon the waterfalls at Katmai NP. We also took a ferry from Homer over to Halibut Cove which is charming.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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we used Bob's Trophy Charters. It was a 6-pack boat (max of 6 fisherman, and there were only 4 the day we went out), and it was $300 per person which did not include the license fee. If I recall, we stopped by the charter office the day before our trip and paid the balance due on the charter, as well as getting our licenses and derby tickets. It was not cheap. Although afterward, we added up the cost of the charter, license, and the cleaning, freezing and shipping costs for our fish, and figured out we'd paid $22/lb for out halibut. Which is actually about what it costs at Whole Foods these days.

I tell you, we had such a good time, it was one of the most memorable days of the whole trip.

Oh, and before we had the fish frozen, we took a piece of the salmon, and all the halibut cheeks.We went to Captain Patty's restaurant on the Spit, where they advertised that they would cook your catch. We had grilled salmon, and fried halibut cheeks, washed down with a couple glasses of Alaskan Amber...one of my favorite meals anywhere

I really wanted to do the bear trip that HappyTrvlr mentions above. Unfortunately for various reasons that didn't work out for us. But if that is in the cards for you, its another reason to pick Homer.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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If you want to see some photos, here's the part of my blog that was about the fishing trip
http://north2alaska-chinacat.blogspo...e-fishing.html

you'll find more on Homer and Seward, including where we stayed, and ate there as well.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Seward fan here. Loved it. Resurrection Bay I so beautiful. Kenai Fjords cruise was wonderful.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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In Homer we also did the Halibut Cove Trip - with dinner at the Saltry Restaurant. They have a big outdoor deck carved into the rocks with lots of Alaskan artifacts. Great halibut dinner there. There is a boardwalk that leads to several artist studios which we had time to do after dinner and we watched an eagle swoop down and fly off with its own dinner.

The trip over was pretty calm so I doubt you would suffer from sea sickness. I really loved Halibut Cove.

My cousin went bear watching - was out of my price range but I did learn that if you call later in the day before desired departure and the seats are not all taken, they will sell for 1/2 price. Wish I had known as there was a couple on cousins flight who snagged the 1/2 price deal.

Can't comment on Seward as the rest of the time we were on a cruise.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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We booked with Silver Fox Charters (with Capt Jim Craddock(sp)_out of Homer for a Lingcod/Halibut combo trip (over 10 hrs on the water). This is fairly serious fishing as it took almost 2.5 hrs to just get out to the large lingcod. We caught a ridiculous amount of fish and our boat of 6 anglers limited out on lingcod (2/pp) ranging from 25-60 lbs. We also limited out on halibut (2/pp) with the largest at 150 lbs and another surprise catch (in lingcod grounds) at 70 lbs. The rest were 12-18 lb range in an area nicknamed the chicken farm as it almost feels like you're harvesting the smaller halibut -- it's almost ridiculously easy (but physically taxing to crank up the little ones with the large weights you're using!) These smaller halibut are actually much tastier than the larger trophies, IMO.

We also did one of those great glacier tours out of Seward. The whales we saw were amazing and the glaciers were incredibly dramatic due to an alarming amount of melting. It was very distressing to hear people cheer though when huge chunks of these glaciers would crash into the water..... have a wonderful time!
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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I'm now leaning towards staying in Homer, trying a half-day fishing trip there, and stopping for a half-day at Cooper Landing on our way back to Anchorage. Throw some sea kayaking, bicycling and boondoggling into the mix in and around Homer. Also making reservations for Saltry's. Oh, and getting a Rx for scopolamine patches.

Any other strong must-see, -do, -eat recommendations for the area?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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I already mentioned Captain Patties in Homer, in case you catch fish and want to eat some. We also had a terrific meal at a little place called Cafe Cups. And we enjoyed the pizza at Fat Olives.

If you have a rainy day, the Pratt Museum is an interesting way to spend an hour or so.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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If you would like to do stream fishing, my husband has gone with Alaska Wildland in Cooper Landing while we stayed at the Kenai Princess Lodge about a mile away. He also used the Saltwater Lodge fishing in Seward and Homer Ocean Charters in Homer. If you like kayaking, we had a great time with St. Augustine's in Homer.
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